Timberman May Just be the Next Flappy Bird – and it’s on Android

Timberman May Just be the Next Flappy Bird – and it’s on Android

Jul 22, 2014

Timberman is the next big hit casual arcade game in the vein of Flappy Bird. Tap on the left and right sides of the screen to chop down an impossibly-tall tree, making sure you’re not on the side of the screen where the branch will whack you in the head as you cut down the tree, and keeping the timer at the top from running out. It’s devilishly challenging yet hard to put down. Download it now from Google Play.

Bamboo Paper Now on Android, with Free Premium Pens and Paper

Bamboo Paper Now on Android, with Free Premium Pens and Paper

Jul 22, 2014

Wacom’s Bamboo brand, known for their styluses for tablets, has released their official app for drawing and writing on Android. Bamboo Paper is a simple notebook app for sketching, writing, whatnot, all with a pen. It’s also easy to share creations with the app to Evernote and other cloud services.

Do note that if you have an existing Bluetooth Bamboo stylus from Wacom, there’s no support for it yet – but there’s plenty of Android phones and tablets with active stylus support, as well.

The app is available as a free download, and it’s worth getting now, as all the premium pens and paper types are unlocked for free. Get it now from Google Play](https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.wacom.bamboopapertab).

Crowdfunding Spotlight: Puracoat

Crowdfunding Spotlight: Puracoat

Jul 21, 2014

It is no secret how fragile the glass screens of our smart devices can be. I have a busted EVO 4G sitting in the back of my desk drawer and a cracked iPad on my bedside table at the moment. As screens get larger they inherently become easier to crack, and with the increasing beauty of the displays it seems like such a waste to cover them with the traditional sticky plastic cover. I have a personal hatred for these things for a number of reason, but the air bubbles and their corner’s refusal to stay down are at the top of the list.

Luckily for all of us a small startup, Puracoat, has modified liquid glass coating for high rise apartments and converted it to be cost effective enough to market and work on smartphone screens. Simply apply a few sprays of Puracoat onto a smartphone screen and wipe thin. Then buff out the imperfections and voila, a semi-permanent hard cover that is nearly impervious to scratching, impacts, and even water. That last part is a hidden benefit to the Puracoat, as it can be used to make any surface water resistant, and because of the perfectly clear nature of the liquid it can be applied to any surface for those looking for a good way to attempt to waterproof their smartphone.

I remain slightly skeptical about this product, but I would still be willing to give it a shot if it meant that my $500 phone’s screen is empirically more resistant to breaking and catastrophic damage. The application of the product is the only thing that worries me, because the IndieGoGo page is very sparse on details. They simply show an actor spraying on the product, wiping it off, and then polishing it flat. I find it hard to believe that it is that easy, but I trust that during the drying process it is fairly easy to get a perfectly flat coat on the screen.

Each bottle can coat up to four smartphones, and the screen needs a new layer of Puracoat every three to six months depending on wear and use. The project started with an oddly low goal of $500, and has since surpassed that, earning nearly 100 times that mark. Pre-orders start at just $18 so I would take this opportunity to get what could be the product that finally kills those awful stick on screen protectors forever.

Making Space Forest Dilemma Fun To Play Was More Important Than Giving It Great Graphics

Making Space Forest Dilemma Fun To Play Was More Important Than Giving It Great Graphics

Jul 18, 2014

Space Forest Dilemma is a very simple game to understand, but don’t let it fool you. The game is tough as nails, but never unfair. That is, among other things, the result of focused gameplay, rather than polished graphics.

Newborn developer Papaquark just released their first, fast paced puzzle game on Android devices, called Space Forest Dilemma. In Space Forest Dilemma the objective is, according to the developers of course, very simple. Just do not collide. On screen there is a grid and on that grid, there are different obstacles and objects – all with their own different movement patterns. To succeed in the game, players need to memorize all those patterns and have to plan ahead of those patterns so they can move all the moveable blocks right after one another.

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Space Forest Dilemma is being praised all over the place. But how did the team of only two guys, Michael and Andreas, come up with the idea? Michael, one of the co-founders, explains. “The idea was originally hatched a couple of years ago during a period of long train rides. Inspired by Rube Goldberg Machines, the basic concept was invented and eventually discarded, since it didn’t play well with a mouse on pc.” This was before everyone had a smartphone with touchscreen. “Last summer we made a prototype on a smartphone and with new touch controls the old idea actually turned into something that was challenging and fun to play.”

If players do not pay attention, the game can be very challenging – perhaps to challenging. But that was a deliberate decision. Both co-founders love old school games and games where one need to think ahead and plan their next move. “This basically includes everything from old school puzzlers like Tetris, to strategy games like the original UFO: Enemy Unknown, to classic adventure games like Grim Fandango. The kind of games that make you feel smart when you get it right, you know.” So based on that – and our own play sessions – the game is hard, but never unfair.

To me, the game has a rough-kinda look and feel – there isn’t much variation on screen and the colors don’t seem to complement each other. Like it is still a beta or early in development or something like that. “It’s a bit of a mix really”, Andreas explains to me. “None of us is a wizard when it comes to graphics, and also we kinda like (or at least we don´t mind) the slightly rough do it yourself style.” They spent a lot more time on testing different game mechanics, making levels and stuff to make sure the game was fun to play, than they did on the graphics.

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“We had an idea to get help with polishing things up, but in the end we decided to do everything ourselves as a learning experiment. We finally ended up with a style that we felt was fairly unique, a good fit with the gameplay and that we could handle with our limited graphic skills. Hopefully we’ll get better and better at graphics too, not necessarily to make it more polished, but to be able to create the right style and feel that we want for our next game.” In that light, it was a good decision to gave the graphics less attention – it helped the developers to get the best out of the gameplay.

Since this is Papaquarks first release, I expected that the team of two guys had to overcome big obstacles to get where they are now. “The hardest part was probably coming up with a name for our studio”, Andreas says with a big smile on his face. “No, but seriously, this is the first game we have ever completed so just finishing and being able to publish it felt like a huge accomplishment for us. Completing a game was simply a lot more work than we had anticipated and we ran into a lot of obstacles. Being our first game though, we kinda expected to make mistakes along the way.”

The technical problems they experienced were like learning experiences for them, which helped with the motivation. “Thankfully we’ve known each other for a long time so we’re not afraid to speak out when we think something’s not that great. We’re also pretty good at knowing when to push each other or when to give each other a break.” Another thing that can only help the final product, which players can download now from the Google Play Store. “Our goal has been to create a game that’s both unique and fun and we believe we have done just that.” Download it here.

Ruzzle Adventure, Now on Android!

Ruzzle Adventure, Now on Android!

Jul 15, 2014

The hit word game Ruzzle Adventure has finally made its way to Android. MAG Interactive’s game where words must be formed quickly from small grids of tiles before the rising water sinks you. Social features allow you to compete with friends for high scores on individual levels with leaderboards available. The game is available now on Google Play.

Havok’s Project Anarchy Mobile Game Dev Challenge Winners Revealed – Plus You Can Play Them Now

Havok’s Project Anarchy Mobile Game Dev Challenge Winners Revealed – Plus You Can Play Them Now

Jul 14, 2014

Havok’s Project Anarchy is a 3D engine that allows developers to easily make games for multiple platforms. And to help show off what can be done with it, Havok ran a contest for games built with the engine, with a $100,000 cash prize to the winning entry. The winner? Cosmonautica – A Space Trading Adventure by Chasing Carrots, a game of space trading, where players must do business, fight enemies, and manage their crew in order to succeed.

The best part? You can give the game a shot right now on Google Play, in an “early access” Alpha version for ~$6.79 US.

As well, you can check out the runner-up train simulation game Hmmsim and puzzle game Temple Match on Google Play right now as well.

Turn any Android Device into an AirPlay Receiver with Reflector

Turn any Android Device into an AirPlay Receiver with Reflector

Jul 14, 2014

Have you ever wanted to use your Android device as an AirPlay receiver? That’s what Squirrels has done with Reflector – now available on Android. If you have an iOS device or a computer using Squirrels’ AirParrot, just launch Reflector and your Android device should show up as an AirPlay receiver. Now you can use your phone, tablet, or even TV-connected device, to view your iOS device, Mac, or computer running AirParrot, anywhere. Pretty cool. The app is available now on Google Play.

Halfbrick’s Fish Out of Water Swims on to Android

Halfbrick’s Fish Out of Water Swims on to Android

Jul 11, 2014

Good news for Android-owning Halfbrick fans: their 2013 game Fish Out of Water has at last swam on to Android. This is not an endless runner: the goal is to launch fish across the ocean, with each fish behaving differently through the air, and with the water. The goal is to get three fish to perform as best as possible, getting as high a score as possible from the judges. The game is available as a free download.

Happy Leo’s Fortune and Wayward Souls Release Day, Everyone!

Happy Leo’s Fortune and Wayward Souls Release Day, Everyone!

Jul 10, 2014

Oh is it a great day to be an Android gamer. While these are both games that came out on iOS earlier, they’re both out today and are well worth checking out.

Leo’s Fortune is a fun platformer with Sonic-inspired elements that’s been much beloved so far, including winning an Apple Design Award. Now it’s on Android, and is well worth checking out for platformer fans. Get the game form Google Play here. Check out the rad trailer below:

Wayward Souls is Rocketcat Games’ latest masterpiece, an action-RPG with roguelike elements that’s challenging, and very lengthy. It’s on sale for $4.99, and will only get more expensive over time. This is another must-have. Check out a trailer below, and click here to get the game from Google Play.

We’ll have full reviews of both of these games very soon.

Chromecast Cast Screen Feature Releasing to the Public Soon

Chromecast Cast Screen Feature Releasing to the Public Soon

Jul 10, 2014

Announced at Google IO, Chromecast’s screen mirroring will be making its way out into the world in beta form for selected devices. The list includes Nexus 4 & 5 phones, Samsung Galaxy S4, S5, Note 3, and Note 10″, LG G2, G3, G Pro 2, and the HTC One M7, including Google Play Edition versions of those phones where applicable. From the Chromecast app, a “Cast Screen” option will be available. The update’s not quite available yet, but will be very soon according to Google.

Evolution: Battle for Utopia from My.com Makes its Way to Android

Evolution: Battle for Utopia from My.com Makes its Way to Android

Jul 10, 2014

My.com’s Evolution: Battle for Utopia is now on Android. This is a free-to-play genre-bending action game, where players will fight enemies in real-time shooter battles, while also utilizing strategic defense placement, and elements of town-builders as you terraform the planet and build colonies. Oh, and there’s a robot dog named Fido. Check it out now on Google Play.

Crowdfunding Spotlight: Swich

Crowdfunding Spotlight: Swich

Jul 9, 2014

This week’s Crowdfunding Spotlight shines brightly on what might end up being the best looking product we have ever featured. For those who spend a majority of their day at a desk wires really become somewhat of an unexplainable annoyance. For the more refined taste, an elegant, serene work space is the pinnacle of productivity. Now more than ever work is done via smartphones and it is very important to have them at our beck and call. This leads to wires and inelegant solutions such as vertical docks that limit the ability to handle the phone when necessary. Slovenian designers Lutman Design have taken the traditional phone cradle, removed the wires and reclined the phone towards a more natural position. The device is called Swich and I am truly smitten.

The first part is really the Swich’s biggest selling point. Using inductive charging standard, Qi, Swich will charge any appropriately enabled device; which at this point is simply the Nokia Lumia and Nexus 5, or any device with a Qi receiver. The aftermarket receiver is what most consumers will opt for, and for $10 Lutman will provide iPhone users with a special charging case of their very own. Even though the field at the moment is limited, the Swich is banking on the reasonably safe bet that wireless charging is the way of the future and some day soon smartphones will come without the ubiquitous micro-USB ports. This technology is built into the stand and is underneath a layer of micro-suction material to ensure no slippage.
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What is possibly even more impressive than the wireless charging or micro-suction surface is just how elegant this device looks. The either white or black ceramic base and surface are joined by a delightfully arched piece of stained American dark walnut. The inclusion of high quality wood between two matte piece of ceramic make the Swich truly a modern work of art, and no designer would think twice about putting this device in their office. I am glad to see that it is also not as overpriced as I feared; a standard Swich can be had for around a $140 donation. Unsurprisingly, this project has already been funded but there are still 20 days to go, and with speakers, different colors, and even multiple designs promised through stretch goals there is no reason not to jump on this project right now. For those looking for something both convenient and beautiful to charge their phone at home or work look no further than Swich.